Chair hits out at ‘dissident organisation’ campaign plans

The writing on the hoarding in Draperstown. INMM2413-190ar.
The writing on the hoarding in Draperstown. INMM2413-190ar.

THE CHAIR of Magherafelt District Council has hit out at a “dissident organisation” over its campaign to hold an All Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity.

Sinn Fein councillor Catherine Elattar called the 1916 Societies ‘One Ireland One Vote’ campaign poorly thought out and said it did not have the political strength to deliver a United Ireland.

Councillor Elattar was responding to a letter sent into the MAIL from the Magherafelt based group the Sean Larkin Society which asked for support for the societies campaign.

It said: “The 1916 Societies are an independent Irish Separatist Movement that looks upon the ideals and principles set out in the 1916 Proclamation as our significant point of reference.

T”he proposed Six County border poll under Britain’s Northern Ireland Act 1998 permits the Secretary of State (an English politician devoid of a single vote in Ireland) to determine: when and if a poll may be called; the wording of the poll, and, who qualifies to vote.

“Even if passed the British parliament retains the final say on whether or not the result will be endorsed by the UK government.

We believe the core concept of Irish republicanism is that Irish constitutional authority derives from the Irish people and does not defer to laws or decrees emanating from London.”

The letter added: “As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising it is clear that Britain continues to refuse to recognise Ireland as one democratic unit and presumes that Westminster will define the parameters of Irish democracy.

“Republicanism is a unifying concept based on interdependence as opposed to tribal commonality. The exceptional Republican leadership of 1916 knew that interdependence could only be nurtured within a national context and not a partitionist one. They were very specific about that in the Proclamation calling for a ‘National Government representative of the whole people of Ireland’ and declaring that the Republic must be, ‘…oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.’

It continued: “A Six County poll legitimises the very mechanisms invented by Britain to harness these differences to British interests by endorsing the Unionist veto and accepting the artificial statelet that incubates and nurtures the sectarian dynamic in Irish politics.

The letter, which was signed off by Diarmuid Ó Donnaile, concluded: “The 1916 Proclamation for too long has been relegated to the status of a notional aspiration.

“The 1916 Societies wish to be part of a broad movement which reinstates the Proclamation of the Republic to its rightful place and its original intent as a template for action.

“In that spirit we respectfully request your endorsement of an All Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity.”

Graffiti recently appeared in the Mid-Ulster area, including Draperstown, on the “Irish Separtist” group’s campaign.

In response to the letter, councillor Elattar said: “None of the dissident organisations including this one, have a thought-out strategy to delivery a United Ireland.

“Slogans are no substitute for strategy.”

She concluded: “Sinn Féin is the only Party with the political strength and strategy to deliver a United Ireland.”